May 18, 2017

Trump cancels Masada speech due to helicopter ban

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Trump moved a speech planned for Israel's Masada, a mountaintop fortress, after being told he couldn't land his helicopter at the top, per Newsweek. The Israeli Air Force enacted a regulation in the 1990's that bans landing atop the mountain because of potential wind and dust damage to the ancient ruins.

Other ways to reach the 1,300 ft peak:

  • Cable Car - This would take about 3 minutes, and is the fastest route up.
  • Snake Path - This hike wraps around the eastern side of the mountain, and can take upwards of two hours.
  • Roman Ramp - This shorter, yet steeper, option is accessible on the western side of the mountain.

George W. Bush and Bill Clinton both took the cable car on visits to Masada. Trump will instead speak at the Israeli Museum in Jerusalem.

One odd thing: Six years ago, Trump inquired about holding a Miss Universe pageant on Masada, according to Israeli press reports.

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